An old adage suggests that someone drowning in shallow water doesn’t always realize that the easiest fix is to simply stand up. This is not an official slogan for Laura Blasberg and her law firm—Laura Blasberg Law PLLC Tax and Estate Planning—but maybe it should be.
Blasberg’s small, Hauppauge based firm handles two major areas of law that would seem daunting to someone trying to tackle either alone. She specializes in representing clients large or small in tax controversy cases against the IRS. Her other area of expertise is in estate planning. Either of those tasks might feel like drowning, but Blasberg can be there to remind you that solving your problems could be as simple as standing up.
To call Blasberg’s practice small doesn’t tell the whole story. After attending Duke Law School and earning a Masters degree from the New York University School of Law, Blasberg spent nearly 20 years at large firms both on Long Island and in Manhattan. However, the Stony Brook resident said she has always dreamed of opening up a small practice near her hometown. As a result, she now has established the perfect blend of large firm experience with small firm rates.
“I think that I’m very approachable and I really care about the clients,” Blasberg said. She understands that people coming to her for her services usually feel intimidated by what the future might hold.
Tax controversy: no matter how bad you think your situation is, she’s seen worse.
“If you’re in a situation where you haven’t paid your taxes and the IRS doesn’t know, or the IRS is after you, people can feel very vulnerable,” Blasberg said. “If the IRS or New York State is sending you letters and you ignore them, that’s the worst thing you can do because the next thing you know the IRS and New York State can start garnishing your wages or they’ll put a levy on your bank account, so you go to take money out of your bank and it’s not there.”
No matter how bad a tax situation might seem Blasberg said she has the experience to ensure clients that in every situation, she can handle it. She said that she once represented a client that hadn’t filed a tax return for their business for over 10 years. Facing millions in unpaid taxes and potential criminal liability, Blasberg was able to help the client get in compliance with the IRS, avoid jail and pay a fraction of what he actually owed.
“That could be a pretty disastrous situation where someone comes to us and they are at that point where the IRS has already started taking money from them, but again it’s a relatively easy fix,” Blasberg said.
Estate planning: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst
“If you don’t do a will your kids might be 18 years old and all of the sudden something happens to you. They are now inheriting a bank account and some assets, they’re going to blow through it, whereas you would want that money to go towards their college or a wedding or buying their first house,” Blasberg said.
As a mother to two boys, a fourth-grader and a second-grader, and three dogs that live like children three through five, Blasberg admitted that planning for the possibility of tragedy is not a pleasant thought, but clients should remember that the alternative is much worse, regardless of the size of the estate being left behind.
Blasberg’s extensive experience in tax planning is a vital asset in estate planning. She understands the ins and outs of planning for estates worth more than $10 million, which are taxed at nearly a 50-percent rate. However, those are not the only people that Blasberg suggests should have an estate plan.
“It’s never too early to do estate planning, especially if you have children,” she said.
In addition to estate planning and tax controversy, Laura Blasberg Law is a resource for businesses that conduct large transactions. Tax planning is essential to avoid surprises, especially for businesses.